DO WRITER’S REALLY TAKE A BREAK?

November 23, 2007 at 3:52 pm 16 comments

I do and I don’t think they do. I know when I step back from writing it can probably take weeks before I write again. But the stories are always there. I think it’s a huge difference between thinking about writing and sitting down putting words to paper.

Right now I’m trying to edit two stories. I SAID NEVER and OVERWORKED AND UNDERLAID. For O&O I’ve done the intial read through and hated it. Yesterday I sat down to read it only making marks where words were missing and if I needed to move a sentence. I no longer hate it. I love the energy of the book. I love the fact the hero is trying his best not look too hard at the heroine. I love the fact Megan calls her mother Joan when she’s really irritated with her. (Her mother’s real name is Nicole) I love the use of movie references with horrible mother’s. (Mommie Dearest and Carrie)And for some reason “Home is where the heart is” and “There is no place like home” and “Just click your heels. You’ve always had the power to go back home.” Seems to be the running theme of the story. I want to know the significance of this. So I can use the The Wizard of Oz, Mommie Dearest, as motifs in the story. Oh, and of course I had to make a Princess Bride reference, “Loooove, TWWWUUUE, LOOOOVE!” The other obstabcle is finding out the laws of using song lyrics in literature. Do I have to get permission? Do I have to pay some type of fee? I have no idea. If I have to I’ll gut those lines out, but the story wouldn’t be the same. Anyway, I really like this book and as soon as I have the chance I’m sending it to my editor.

And I SAID NEVER…I don’t think I can be truly objective with that story. It’s first person, so out of my element, but Phoenix is something else. She doesn’t believe in anything and how well do I show that she now does by the end of the book. My main goal is to catch all the mistakes then go back and get rid of all the sentences starting with “I” that doesn’t need to be there. The Princess Bride reference is “As you wish.” If you’ve seen the movie then you know what it means when Phoenix is being bossy and she’s telling Adam to do something and his answer, “As you wish.” If not a cue to Phoenix it’s one to the reader this man is in love with her. I’m not sure what this story is missing. I’ve made sure her fourth turning point is significant. I’ve made sure she doesn’t say or think “my mother” until after the first turning point. In my opinion the sex scenes have purpose. Once I finish reading it maybe. Not sure what the motif is in this story(and that may be the problem). Not sure how to take it one step deeper into character without adding another POV. It’s all Phoenix, all the time. If nothing else I’ve discipline myself in POV, very different from my first book where I head hopped every five sentences. By the end of this weekend I’ll be able to put my finger on how to make this story better. I’m defintely going to send this book to a critique partner.

Which leads me to the moral of today’s post writer’s don’t really take a vacation.

Oh, and I want to do author interviews. Published, unpublished, don’t care I want to talk to writers. I want to know about you. So e-mail at melissablue84@yahoo.com if you are interested. Depending on the amount of takers I’ll start posting them mid-december, early January. Let me know.

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THIS IS THE STORY THAT NEVER ENDS…. TOP TEN SIGNS YOU LOVE YOUR KIDS

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kate Diamond  |  November 23, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    How do you find the energy to revise? I just look at “Revising Mr. Right” and I feel a little pukey. Not. Good.

  • 2. Mel  |  November 24, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Honestly, I don’t know. If I don’t think too hard about all the work I have to do then it’s not so bad. But when I think I have to wade through over 40k words or over 75k words then the panic sets in. I try to break it apart in small bits, because too much makes my head hurt. To be honest I’ve been a roll this year. I don’t want to stop until everything is in order. Then I’ll probably won’t do anything for 6 months.

    Oh, and I hear saltine crackers are good for nausea. May need to keep them on hand before revising.

  • 3. Edie  |  November 24, 2007 at 4:47 am

    I’m revising now too, but one book at a time. The holidays are getting in the way, but I still hope to finish this by the end of the year.

  • 4. Mel  |  November 24, 2007 at 5:32 am

    Plenty of time, especially if you don’t have to re-write a lot. For me it’s just hard to leave well enough alone. If the scene is good then don’t add. Search for missing words or things that don’t make sense. I work much better with bigger picture parts of the writing.

    Anyway, good luck on the deadline.

  • 5. raine  |  November 24, 2007 at 8:06 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever been able to stop for more than a month–and that was when I’d gotten so many rejections in such a short time I was gagging on them…
    Don’t hurt yourself, babe, lol.
    (And ginger ale is good for the queasies too…)

  • 6. Marianne Arkins  |  November 24, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Revisions are the HARDEST part of writing. I dread them. But they are so very necessary… hang in there!

    And, I can’t take time off. If I don’t write something EVERY DAY it is painful to go back. I don’t mind doing it. It’s why I write short stories and novels, and why I usually have several projects going at once.

    And, I haven’t been here in a bit and just saw your TWRP cover — it’s LOVELY!

  • 7. Silke  |  November 24, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Mel, you refer to wanting to know about song lyrics. It depends how much and how verbatim.
    Personally, I would email the management of the band / artist and simply ask them (providing an exerpt) and tell them you’d like to use it like that. Ask if you could have (written) permission.
    I don’t know what the ‘fair use’ policy is (and I don’t trust it, anyway, it’s being abused too much), but that’s what I would do.
    Besides, if you reference the band.. hey… promo for them!

    Anyway. 🙂 Just thought I’d mention that.
    And no. Writers don’t take a break. Their heads are always turning over stories. That part doesn’t stop. At least for me it doesn’t.
    Putting it on paper is just physical storytelling to me. 🙂

  • 8. Mel  |  November 24, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Raine-I’ll try not to, but its so hard to quit writing when you are on a roll.

  • 9. Mel  |  November 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks, Marianne. And I know what you mean about taking a break then coming back. It really feels like you’re memory has been erased of all writing abilities.

  • 10. Mel  |  November 24, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    It’s Donny Hathaway and he’s been dead for years. So I’ll probably have to do extra footwork. And it’s maybe four lines in the whole entire book and it’s not back to back. *sigh* But thanks for the direction.

    And the stories nag anyway even when you don’t have a pen and paper or is sitting in front of the computer.

  • 11. bettye griffin  |  November 25, 2007 at 3:33 am

    Yes, writers do take breaks, just like everybody else. Mine usually don’t last any more than a day or two, but after that I’m generally raring to get back to work!

  • 12. Mel  |  November 25, 2007 at 5:23 am

    Just think normal people take two weeks off from work. A day or two? I guess that’s as close as we can get without quitting writing all together.

  • 13. Toni Lyons  |  November 25, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    My system doesn’t mind if I take a day off here or there(about one day per week). It’s not set in stone but if I need to do something else, or if, I’m simply feeling sorry for myself(BooHoo) then I’ll just leave it for a day…and of course, dwell on it. I couldn’t leave it for longer because then I would start to have psycho thoughts in my head sneering at me saying, “Your not a REAL writer,” and the ever present, “Give up, your a loser anyway.” Ugh. -No, It’s okay; I’m alright. I don’t need any medication. P.S. Mel, I like your idea of having author interviews. They’ll be inspirational to read.

  • 14. Mel  |  November 25, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    “Give up, your a loser anyway.”

    Beat those thoughts with a mental hammer. Easier said than done. I know. But it’s a strange thing when you start to think like that you can either fall into a bottomless pit or get back up and write your ass off.

    About the interviews I’m hoping their good. For me its asking the right questions to get the author to open up. Face to face is easy for me. I ask a question and that leads to another and most times I have to circle back to the list of questions I have.

    And, hey, I didn’t an e-mail from you saying you wanted to be interviewed? 🙂

  • 15. Toni Lyons  |  November 25, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Doing an interview would be fun, but I would feel like a poser doing one when I’m not published. (I know that is irrational.) It’s funny because if you do interviews with other people who are not published, I know I would be delighted to read about their experiences. With that said, I look forward to the day when I can go to a convention as you did in Dallas. I keep looking back over your pictures. I want to go one day…and Meet YOU!

  • 16. Mel  |  November 26, 2007 at 3:36 am

    Toni-Technically I’m not published either. My book is not out. I’ve yet to hold that sucker in my hands in all it’s beautiful glory. So…:)

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